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|| Volume 2 ||Issue 11 ||JUNE 2017||ISSN (Online) 2456-0774

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH


AND ENGINEERING TRENDS

Application of Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) in


treatment of and electricity generation from
Distillery SpentWash (DSW) : Review
Devyani P. Patil1,Dr. A.B. Saner2
M.Tech Scholar, Department of Technology, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India 1
Professor at civil engineering department, Sandip Institute of Engineering & Management, Nashik, India 2

Abstract In present research article, various research troublesome and strongest industrial organic effluents. The
works on the treatment and energy generation from polluting strength is very high due to the high content of
Spentwash using Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) have been biodegradable organic materials, such as sugar, lignins,
reviewed. The wastewater coming out of one of most hemicelluloses, dextrins, resins and organic acids. It is
pollution creating industry in India, distillery is known approximately 1215 times by volume of product alcohol.
as spentwash. This study reflects on performance of About 40 billion litters of waste water annually discharged from
various MFC designs, operational conditions, and distilleries, known as raw spent wash, which is characterized by
wastewater treatment parameters such as Chemical high biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand,
Oxygen Demand (COD) removal rate and power density. undesirable color and foul smell [2].
It has been known for many years that it is Various physico-chemical and biological treatment
possible to generate electricity directly by using bacteria options are available for the treatment of distillery wastewaters
to break down organic substrates. The recent energy [9]. But an anaerobic treatment makes conversion of the organic
crisis has reinvigorated interests in MFCs among wastewater ito sludge and biogas as source of energy. It proves
academic researchers as a way to generate electric power better than aerobic treatment as aerobic treatment requires
or hydrogen from biomass without a net carbon emission external energy input.
into the ecosystem. MFCs can also be used in wastewater Microbial fuel cells (MFC) are electrochemical devices
treatment facilities to break down organic matters. The that convert the chemical energy contained in organic matter
application of MFC in spentwash treatment and into electricity by means of the catalytic (metabolic) activity of
variation of results with respect to pH, concentration of living microorganisms. MFCs can be used for the treatment of
substrate i.e. Distillery SpentWash (DSW), temperature, distillery wastewater and can produce electricity. MFC
type of MFC, type of mediators, electrolytes, materials technologies appear to be technically feasible for energy
used for electrodes also have been discussed in present recovery from waste biomass materials.
review paper.
Keywords : Distillery Spentwash (DSW), Microbial Fuel II WORKING PRINCIPLE OF MFC
Cell (MFC)
I INTRODUCTION
Today, industrial wastewater management is one of
the crucial problems; the world is facing. Different
industries produce variety of wastewater pollutants; which
are difficult and costly to treat. Wastewater characteristics
and levels of pollutants differ from industry to industry.
Their handling, treatment and disposal are the major
challenges to industries. As per the Central Pollution
Control Board, Ministry of Environment and Forests
(MoEF), Government of India, alcohol distilleries are listed
at the top of Red Category industries having a high
polluting potential. Distillery spent wash is unwanted
residual liquid waste generated during alcohol production
and pollution caused by it is one of the most critical Figure 1. Schematic diagram of two chambered Microbial Fuel Cell
environmental issue [1]. It is one of the most complex, [2]

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|| Volume 2 ||Issue 11 ||JUNE 2017||ISSN (Online) 2456-0774
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
AND ENGINEERING TRENDS
A typical microbial fuel cell consists of anode and power output using the salt bridge MFC was 2.2 mW/m2 that
cathode compartments separated by a cation specific was an order of magnitude lower than that achieved using
membrane. A schematic representation of a microbial fuel Nafion. Membranes and Kaolin septum are prone to fouling if
cell is illustrated in Fig 1. In the anode compartment, the fuel is something like municipal wastewater. Membrane-less
organic matter is oxidized by microorganisms, generating MFCs are desired if fouling or cost of the membrane becomes a
electrons and protons. When microorganisms consume a problem in such applications [2].
substrate such as spentwash in anaerobic conditions they
produce carbon dioxide, protons and electrons. Electrons are 3. The effect of anolyte and catholyte pH on power
transferred to an electric circuit and proton get transferred to generation in an MFC using post methanation distillery effluent
cathodic compartment through proton exchange membrane (PMDE) was studied in batch mode. Higher anodic pH (79)
or salt agar bridge. and low cathodic pH (2) were more favorable and at the optimal
cathode: anode pH ratio of 2:8, power density attained was
III VARIATION IN RESULTS OF RESEARCH 0.457 W/m3. An initial feed solution pH up to 10 was tolerated
EXPERIMENTS PERFORMED ON SPENTWASH by the MFC. However, internal resistance increased 1.5 times
USING MFC WITH RESPECT TO VARIOUS and power density decreased by 60% at pH 10 as compared to
PARAMETERS that at pH 7, the normal anolyte pH. Internal resistance of the
1. In an experimental study, the stacking of MFCs MFC was minimum (266 ohms) at cathodic pH 2, thus favoring
connected in series was employed to enhance the voltage better power generation. Under low cathodic and high anodic
generated by MFC. The voltage generated and total power pH ratio of the MFC, a low internal resistance favored both high
production by 4 MFCs connected in series was 0.817 0.07 current density and power density [8].
V and 349.7 59.38 mW respectively. The working voltage A single chamber microbial fuel cell (SCMFC) was
generated by single MFC was 0.126 0.005 V while total operated with distillery spent wash (DSW) wastewater and
power generated by the system was found to be 7.94 0.14 microorganisms in cow-dung as inoculum source from pH 4 to
mW. The working voltage was increased to 0.167 0.01 V, 9. MFC signifies maximum current in the sequence of pH 6
0.419 0.05 V and 0.817 0.07 V when 2 MFCs, 3 MFCs (0.46 mA) > pH 7 (0.4 mA) > pH 8-9 (0.16-0.19 mA); whereas
and 4 MFCs were connected in series. Similarly, total power the chemical oxygen demand (COD) removed in order of pH 8-
increased from 7.94 0.14 mW to 349.7 59.38 mW when 9 (80-81%) > pH 7 (79%) > pH 6 (68%). The losses in
4 MFCs were connected in series. Hence, MFCs connected coulombic yield were due to alternating electron acceptors and
in series was successfully used to increase the voltage output air diffusion through the reactor [22].
and hence the power output when fed with an aerobically
digested distillery wastewater. Because of the limitation of 4. In this study single chamber MFC and double
data logger, more than 4 MFCs in series could not be chambered MFC were compared for the distillery wastewater
connected [3]. treatment and generation of electricity. Microorganisms present
in distillery wastewater and sewage were used as inoculum, and
2. Proton exchange system can affect an MFC distillery wastewater acted as substrate. Single chamber MFC
system's internal resistance and concentration polarization was efficient and found to be producing maximum current of
loss and they in turn influence the power output of the MFC. 0.84 mA, power density of 28.15 mW/m 2 where as double
Nafion (DuPont, Wilmington, Delaware) is most popular chambered MFC produced a maximum current of 0.36 mA and
because of its highly selective permeability of protons. power density of 17.76 mW/m 2. Double chambered MFC was
Despite attempts by researchers to look for less expensive efficient in the removal of COD (64% removal) when compared
and more durable substitutes, Nafion is still the best choice. with single chamber MFC which attained 61% COD removal
However, side effect of other cations transport is efficiency. The removal of dissolved solids in both single and
unavoidable during the MFC operation even with Nafion. double chambered MFC was found to be 48%. Five varied feed
In a batch accumulative system, for example, transportation concentrations were loaded to both the single and double
of cation species other than protons by Nafion dominates the chambered MFC and the systems were stable [1].
charge balance between the anodic and cathodic chambers
because concentrations of Na+, K+, NH4 +, Ca2+, Mg2+ IV CONCLUSION
are much higher than the proton concentrations in the Since very less work is done with spentwash treatment
anolyte and catholyte. In this sense, Nafion as well as other theres lot future scope for working in generation of electricity
PEMs used in the MFCs are not a necessarily proton specific from highly organic spentwash using Microbial Fuel Cells.
membranes but actually cation specific membranes. Min et
al. (2005a) compared the performance of a PEM and a salt
bridge in an MFC inoculated with G. metallireducens. The

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|| Volume 2 ||Issue 11 ||JUNE 2017||ISSN (Online) 2456-0774
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
AND ENGINEERING TRENDS

Table 1 Summary of some experiments performed on SpentWash using MFC

SR. WASTE- TYPE OF MFC & ANODIC COD POWER


CATHODIC CHAMBER INOCULUM REF.
No. WATER MEDIATOR CHAMBER REMOVAL DENSITY
28.15
SC MFC 61 %
Graphite rods Microorganisms mW/m 2
DSW Graphite rods from pencils &
1 from pencils & present in distillery 1
Potassium permanganate
DSW wastewater 17.76 mW/m
DC MFC 64 % 2

Double Chambered Graphite Rod & Endogenous


MFC with salt agar Graphite Rod & 200 mL of 100 mM microflora from
349.7
2 DSW bridge ; Standardized potassium ferricyanide anaerobically - 3
59.38 mW
4 MFCs connected solution of DSW prepared in 100 mM digested distillery
in series phosphate buffer of pH 7 wastewater
carbon cloth
DSW + Double Chambered
electrode & DSW Saccharomyces Max voltage
3 Cow dung MFC with agar salt carbon cloth electrode - 4
+ Cow dung cerevisiae M-9 230 mv/l.
manure bridge
manure
plain
with a proton artificial wastewater
Sugar carbon paper as
exchange membrane Graphite rod & 100mM containing Max current
4 industry anode & sugar - 5
(Nafion TM 117, phosphate buffer glucose as carbon - 11.37 mA
wastewater industry
DuPont Co. USA). source
wastewater
Double Chambered Graphite rod & Potassium Micro-organisms
Graphite rod & 18.35
5 DSW MFC with agar salt permanganate (0.2 g/ present in domestic 64 % 6
DSW mW/m2
bridge L) sewage
656 mV at
Double Chambered Saccharomyces
Copper Electrode Copper Electrode & Dilute 54 % at 10 10 days
6 DSW MFC with salt agar cerevisiae culture in 7
& DSW Acetic Acid days
bridge organic slurry

DSW (Post- Double Chambered Graphite Fiber


Graphite Fiber Brush & 2 g/L
methanation MFC with Nafion Brush & Post-
7 potassium cow-dung slurry - 0.457 W/m3 8
distillery membrane methanation
ferricyanide solution
effluent ) (SigmaAldrich US) distillery effluent

Double Chambered Graphite rods


Graphite rods from pencils & mixed consortia from 18.35
8 DSW MFC with agar salt from pencils & 64% 9
Potassium permanganate domestic sewage mW/m2
bridge DSW

Air cathode as carbon paper


100 g granular that consisted of a catalyst
Single Chambered
High graphite (15 layer (containing
MFC & anaerobic sludge
strength mm) with a 0.5 mg/cm2 of Pt) on the 1410.2
9 Membrane-less taken from the UASB 53.2 % 10
molasses graphite water-facing side and a mW/m2
(UASBMFCBAF reactor
wastewater Rod & molasses polytetrafluoroethylene
integrated system)
WW (PTFE) diffusion layer on the
air-facing side
Single Chambered enriched mixed
MFC with Pre- consortia (3.6 g
Plain Plain 124.35
10 DSW treated NAFION- VSS/l) through 72.84 % 13
graphite plates graphite plates mW/m2
117 distillery
(SigmaAldrich) wastewater (0.5 l)
25194.8
Double Chambered mW/m2 &
Graphite Rod &
11 DSW MFC with salt agar Graphite Rod - 68.5 % max voltage 14
DSW
12bridge of
206 mV

Single Chambered Air cathode Carbon


12 DSW Carbon cloth cow-dung 68 % 29 mW/m2 22
MFC cloth

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|| Volume 2 ||Issue 11 ||JUNE 2017||ISSN (Online) 2456-0774
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
AND ENGINEERING TRENDS
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